I was gone part of this week so I’m going to summarize these chapters which in some ways is better because what you learn from the text of 1 Kings is actually better done with multiple chapters as there is a lot of detail here.
Solomon’s reign was wise, wealthy and productive. He was organized as well as blessed by God. The first indication of his eventual turning from God is found in his lack of generosity with Hiram who was upset at his payment for all his assistance building Solomon’s house and temple. Solomon eventually fully turned from God through his wives who worshipped other gods and his indulgence of them. We can learn from what takes place with Solomon to have generous hearts and to be careful who we allow to influence us.
At the same time, Solomon is a picture of Christ. He provides peace and wisdom. He brings about the fulfillment of earlier prophecies and yet he is not a complete picture. His “yoke” is actually very heavy for the people of Israel. He eventually encourages the worship of other gods vs. Yahweh. We can rejoice in the King we have and look forward to his reign.
Because of Solomon’s failures, God raises up adversaries (as a kind of chastisement for Solomon to hopefully turn him back to the Lord) as well as a foreshadowing of what was to come. God had told Solomon that his past deeds were good in building the temple but he needed to continue to follow God. When Solomon didn’t do that, God broke the kingdom away from Solomon. This shows that in Solomon’s day that were still looking for a true king – one who would follow God like David did. 10/11 of the kingdom went to Jeroboam. Unfortunately he also didn’t trust in God and built a religion he invented himself (just like all man-made religion). God sent a prophet to condemn this and the prophet himself didn’t follow God’s Word but was killed. All of this didn’t turn Jeroboam back and his dynasty would be broken as well.
Things to learn: God’s Word is the key. We must listen, trust and obey it. We seek to build something that will last. That will only come through obedience to God’s Word. That did not happen until Christ came and set up his church. Rejoice in something that will last today: Christ and His church.